APC: We Won’t Recognise Parallel Congresses
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it would not recognise parallel Congresses, especially, those not conducted by the officials of the party.
Last weekend’s local government congresses witnessed parallel exercises in Osun, Akwa Ibom, Ogun, Kwara, Lagos, Adamawa, and Enugu States.
But the National Secretary of the Caretaker committee, Senator James Akpanudoedehe,while addressing journalists at the party secretariat on Monday in Abuja, said he was not aware that there were parallel Congresses held in some states.
He said, “I don’t know why you are reporting what is not available as far as APC is concerned. We are very structured, we put up a committee and the committee has gone out to conduct the Congresses. The next step will be an appeal and anyone with the issue will go to the appeal and if you are not satisfied with the appeal the caretaker committee will handle it. That is our structure. It is not to my understanding; it is not to my knowledge
“You know that the supervising institution of a political party is INEC. We will write to INEC and by the rule of the land, we are to give them 21 days notice and you will also write to INEC stating names of people, who are going to those congresses, the venue you will conduct the Congresses, you will also announce locally stating the time of the congress and we would inform the security agencies for protection and guide.
“If you move away from the organisation stipulated by INEC, we will describe it the way anybody will describe it. This is the headquarters of APC and you now go and set up something outside here. That is no more APC. I’m just hearing from you that there was a parallel congress I don’t know.”
Akpanudoedehe also revealed that the party was already compiling lists of those that took the party to court and would approach the National Executive Committee (NEC) for a decision to be taken against them.
Few days to the local government Congresses, a High Court sitting in Asaba had restrained the Caretaker Chairman and the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni and others from acting or parading themselves until the determination of a substantive suit before the court.
But Buni insisted that he was never restrained by the Delta Court Order, adding that the restriction of the Congresses was limited to Delta State’s chairman of the party and did not affect other states.
Akpanudoedehe, however, reiterated that, “We are already compiling the list of all the cases and you are very conversant with the party constitution. We will inform the NEC and a decision will be taken by NEC. We will gather the whole thing together, then, we will approach NEC for a decision. But, do we stand by what the NEC said? The decision of the NEC Yes.
The Secretary noted that it was not strange for people to have grievances after the conduct of the congresses, but urged those aggrieved to approach the Appeal panel that would be set up by the party.
“This is party politics. It is a family affair. If you check many of the reports, people can complain about the pages of the newspaper but to approach the appeal panel, there is no substantive channel of some evidence to warrant the expectation of what you are talking about.
“People are used to giving words to individuals but we have a clear mandate from Mr. President that the party should be given to the grassroots. There can be complaints everywhere. Don’t forget the last statement that we issued. There is a window of opportunity,when people are not satisfied. The Caretaker committee is still open,” he said.